Spending 4 days at the Basic Cardiovascular Science (BCVS) conference, I have learned a lot about a current trend or focus for the cardiovascular research which is the vast signaling network within the heart. Listening to the talks from the elites in this field, I have learned how to think progressively and how to tie the basic science research to a clinically relevant problem. Lastly, I have had a privilege to present my own data at this conference and have received many invaluable comments/suggestions from other experts in the field
By Claire Zhao, Ph.D. candidate
Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Computational Medicine,
Johns Hopkins University
I would like to thank the Graduate Student Association (GSA) for awarding me the GSA Travel Award. With the help of the award, I attended the first Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society of Canada from July 17 – 19th at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (BSC). In the meeting, I presented my thesis research on cyclic nucleotide signaling in the regulation of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling using a computational model, titled “Mechanisms of Phosphodiesterase Interactions in Cardiac Cyclic Nucleotide Cross-Talk Signaling Network”. My poster received many interests from the attendees. I had the great opportunity to discuss my thesis from various perspectives with researchers from a wide range of specializations.
Biophysics research is truly gaining momentum in Canada – an expansion that is marked by this historical first meeting of the BSC. It was great to see researchers gathering from many countries to exchange their research ideas. Topics presented ranged from Biophysical Methods, Experiments and Instrumentation, Nanotechnology, Molecular Biophysics, Biotechnology, to Theoretical Modeling. I learned a lot from the meeting and related others’ research to my current thesis work. The meeting was also a great networking event, as I met with editors of journals, researchers from many university, and exhibitors and sponsors from various organizations. The meeting was a valuable experience for me and I thank the GSA for making it possible.
By: Corinne Hamblet
I attended the 2015 American Association of Immunologists conference from May 8-12 in New Orleans. This was the first conference I attended in my graduate career. It's a very big conference. I primarily went so that I could present my thesis work in poster and oral presentations. I also wanted to mingle with potential future postdoc or industry employers. There were many many topics covered and I specifically attended 3 full blocks: one on my current field and two in fields I would like to get into for my postdoctoral work. I also attended a few talks (not the whole block of talks) relevant to my lab's other interests, as well as a few of my own. In addition, I attended a panel discussion and networking session on industry jobs which I found to be the most helpful of everything I did while I was there.
By: Zixuan Pang
During Nov15 to Nov19, I attended the annual SFN conference at Washington Convention Center,
D.C. This is the first time I’ve ever been to a conference. In the first day I drove there and spent a
long time searching for parking space. Then I went inside to look for the mini-symposium I am
interested in. I listened to some low-threshold mechanoreceptor lectures. The second day is
Sunday, I also drove there. Sunday is easier to park. I attended the poster session in both the
morning and the afternoon. I mostly looked at and discussed on the neuropathic pain session and
the inflammatory pain session. Though not a lot related to my own research, I found a lot of
posters on similar topics with my colleagues. It’s like a spy work. However, I guessed most of
the poster stuff was already on the way for publication.
On Monday I need present my own poster. Afraid of being stuck in the DC traffic, I took the
Marc train to DC, then transited with the DC metro to arrive at the convention center. I arrived
around 9:00 am and stapled my poster. To my surprise, my poster got a lot people’s interest. I had
to keep answering others’ questions for 3 hours until noon. I was amazed how people are
interested in my following research and so many people were asking when my paper would be
published. Summarizing the questions is really a good way to guide my following research. After
a quick lunch at Chinatown, I went back to watch the afternoon posters. This whole-day poster
session provided me with a lot of knowledge.
On Tuesday I also took the Marc train and the metro to the meeting. Besides poster session, I also
listened to the “Mechanical receptor” lecture provided by Ardem Patapoutian. His research
bifurcate to both the downstream functional assay of piezo receptors as well as screening for new
mechanical-like receptors. Amazingly, both directions are highly successful. I’ve learned what a
really successful lab can be and why some lab can do successful research while a lot of other labs
are not able to.
Besides going to posters and lectures, I also attend a lot of the exhibition parts. I got a lot of free
gifts from them, also got a fresh experience of a lot of modern new techniques.
Attending SFN makes me learned a lot. I will try to attend more conferences to learn.
By: Luke Osborn
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Dates: August 12-15, 2014
My recent trip to São Paulo, Brazil for the bi-annual IEEE International Conference on Biomedical
Robotics and Biomechatronics (BIOROB) has been a major highlight during my graduate career. This
particular conference focused on the application of robotics and mechatronics in medicine and biology
and understanding their underlying scientific and engineering principles. My work in biomedical
engineering revolves around improving upper limb prosthetic devices through the use of advanced
technology. One of the most beneficial aspects about my trip was my chance to meet, face to face,
other researchers from around the world who are working in similar fields. I almost had to pay an extra
luggage fee on my return trip from all the business cards and contact information I had collected from
others at the conference. What was even more exciting was all the feedback I got regarding the work I
presented. Both positive and negative comments really helped give me a new perspective on my claims,
approaches, and the project overall. As a wide-eyed and bushy tailed graduate student, I walked away
from the conference even more enthusiastic than before. Seeing the brilliant work happening all across
the globe really inspired me to take my work to the next level.
An international conference wouldn’t be complete without a few pit stops at the local tourist traps,
so naturally I had to poke my nose around the city. At first, it seemed as if the entire city was a jungle of
concrete but I was soon proven wrong. There were beautiful parks, with more coconut water vendors
than you could shake a stick at, scattered throughout São Paulo that made it easy to feel like you had
completely escaped the city. Of course, one of the more memorable aspects of the city was the food.
Maybe it’s because I’m a graduate student, but it seems like the food is always enough to make or break
a place. Meat, cheese, bread, juice. It wasn’t very long before I started getting most excited about the
next meal. Growing up in America, I never knew juice could be so delicious. It was like drinking a liquid
version of the fruit....incredible.
Naturally, trips like this are expensive. Travel, lodging, registration...it adds up. Thankfully, through
the generous support of the GSA, I was fortunate enough to attend the conference. Not only was I able
to interact with big-wigs in my field while also presenting my own research, I got a valuable insight
into how the academic community works. I know that because of this trip I will grow and improve as a
scientist as well as an individual.
Classic cliché picture from plane window
Hopkins Dance is an organization for the members of the JHU community who share a love of dancing, whether they are experienced dancers or people who have never danced before. The club promotes various types of partner-style and social dancing. We organize sponsored group lessons on campus, organize group outings to local studios and explore salsa/swing/ballroom opportunities around the area.
To get on our mailing list or get involved in our club, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out our website for information on current and upcoming events: https://sites.google.com/site/hopkinsdance/.
The Biomedical Scholars Association (BSA) is a tri-school organization that celebrates diversity and supports minority graduate students and postdoctoral fellows academically, professionally, and socially within the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute community.
We aim to create meaningful change both within and outside the Hopkins community. Our commitment to diversity includes fostering cultural understanding amongst our members and the Hopkins community at large.
The purposes of this association are:
1) to provide a support system for every scholar who considers him or herself a minority within the Hopkins community;
2) to promote the academic and professional success of said scholars;
3) to enhance minority scholar recruitment to and retention within the Hopkins community;
4) to provide a network for career development and advancement within the scientific community and;
5) to serve our immediate community through volunteerism
“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Let’s celebrate it every day”
To find out the planed events for this calendar year please visit BSA’s website:
and add us on facebook, linkedin and flickr:
Check out the awesome student groups. Find one you like? Join. They are here for you. Can't find one you like but have a good idea for one? Then let us know and you can possibly get some funding for it next year.
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